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Weak Methodology

Posted by APring on 07 Jan 2010 at 16:53 GMT

The study fails to show any reliable results based on suboptimal methodology.

Although the study did use positive and negative controls it did not follow the lead of the initial Lombardi et al. study and test the blood of healthy individuals as a clinical control. Other pertinent differences include the use of different blood sample volumes and processing, patient selection criteria, number and type of tests completed and the use of disparate primer sequences that amplified unequivalent regions of the XMRV proviral DNA.

Those involved in the Lombardi et al. study had previously called for restraint and the need for tightly regulated studies that replicate the work of the initial study with exactness in order to ensure accuracy.

The way in which the Wessely study was executed would indicate that it did not seek to replicate the Lombardi et al. study in line with other studies currently being conducted, but would seem to have been done simply to confound the results and attempt to deflect positive public opinion and funding.

Finally, the paper hasn't been properly peer reviewed and was rushed to publication. I don't believe paying for a review qualifies as a comprehensive analysis.

No competing interests declared.